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When a Loss in Court Becomes a Win

Water Board Doesn’t Charge Building Owners for Homeowner Credits

As we reported in the February issue of the RSA Reporter, in Prometheus Realty Corp. v. New York City Water Board, the Court of Appeals recently reversed two lower court rulings that had upheld RSA’s challenge and, instead, held that the Water Board’s rate decision in 2016 to charge apartment building owners a 2.1% rate increase to pay for water rate credits for 1-3 family homeowners was lawful.

However, in a remarkable turn of events in this case, on January 26th, the Water Board, while implementing the water rate credits for the homeowners, decided to do so without increasing the water rates for apartment building owners after all! Even though our challenge was unsuccessful in the courts, the City, in effect, agreed with our argument that the rate increase was not necessary to pay for the homeowner credits.

According to the Resolution adopted by the Water Board, “the 2.1% rate increase adopted by the Board in the FYI 2017 Rate Schedule is hereby rescinded in its entirety....” A copy of the Water Board’s Resolution can be found on the RSA website under the Resources section.

Additionally, the Water Board voted to extend the deadline for building owners to meet the requirements of the City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Multi-Family Conservation Program (MCP). Many owners paying flat-rate frontage chargers were automatically enrolled in the MCP in 2012; however, compliance deadlines were delayed several times. Please see page 10 for additional information on the MCP deadline extension and the requirements needed to comply.

Our industry, unfortunately, has seen more losses than wins in the courts over the years. However, in this case, it was nice to see apartment building owners win one for a change, even if the State’s highest court didn’t agree. 

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